United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
K. MOON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Seth Nimety, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se,
filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 naming
numerous administrative and medical staff of the Virginia
Department of Corrections (“VDOC”) and Keen
Mountain Correctional Center (“KMCC”) as
defendants. Nimety's claims involve medical treatment by
four doctors and a mental health practitioner, and numerous
staff's review of various administrative forms.
Defendants Crowder, Kiser, Lester, Owens, Schilling, Webb, and
Widener (collectively, “correctional defendants”)
filed a motion to dismiss. Defendants Dr. Edsen, Dr. Lard,
and Dr. Osemobor (collectively, “doctor
defendants”) and defendant Dr. Phillips also filed
motions to dismiss. Defendants Nurse Bucklen and Nurse Whited
(collectively, “nurse defendants”) filed a motion
for summary judgment. Nimety responded to each motion, and the
matter is ripe for disposition. Upon consideration of this
action, I will grant defendants' motions.
began experiencing pains and poor circulation in his legs,
ankles, and feet while incarcerated at a regional jail in
2012. Nimety was diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome and was
prescribed, inter alia, 600 milligrams of ibuprofen.
Nimety did not believe the prescription was effective.
was transferred to two VDOC facilities in early 2013. Nimety
told the medical staff at each facility that the ibuprofen
was ineffective and that he disagreed with the Restless Leg
Syndrome diagnosis. A facility doctor discontinued the
ibuprofen and ordered an ankle-brachial index test to
diagnose the bilateral foot pain. The test results were
within normal limits. Nimety injured his left shoulder while
lifting weights in June 2013 just before being transferred
away from the prison.
Phillips' and the doctor defendants' involvement with
Nimety began after Nimety was transferred to KMCC on August
14, 2013, while Nimety still experienced pains in his lower
extremities and left shoulder. On September 10, 2013, Nimety
had an appointment with defendant Dr. Phillips about leg and
ankle pains. Dr. Phillips diagnosed Nimety with plantar
fasciitis, ordered X rays of his feet, gave him exercises to
complete, and instructed him to buy ibuprofen from the
commissary. The X-ray results were unremarkable, noting
normal joint spaces and no fracture.
January 2, 2014, Nimety went to the medical department and
received 200 milligrams of ibuprofen, twice daily, for five
days. A nurse told him to notify medical staff if the
symptoms did not improve or worsened.
March 4, 2014, Nimety met with Dr. Phillips, explaining his
“severe and persistent” leg pain despite
complying with all her prior instructions. Dr. Phillips
diagnosed him with Peroneal Tendonitis, ordered various
tests, and prescribed ibuprofen, ostensibly, at 500 mg for
one month. The test results were within normal limits. Nimety
did not return to Dr. Phillips about lower extremity pains by
the time he left KMCC around February 2015. However, he did
see Dr. Phillips for his left shoulder.
November 18, 2014, Nimety met with Dr. Phillips for left
shoulder pain. Dr. Phillips diagnosed Nimety with a shoulder
strain, ordered X-rays, told him to obtain pain medication
from the commissary, and gave him a rehabilitatory exercise
handout. The X-ray report said, “No acute bony lesions
are seen. Faint calcific density of the supraspinatus tendon
suggestive of tendonitis is noted. Mild arthritis of the AC
joint is noted.” The radiologist's impression was
“mild degree of supraspinatus calcific tendonitis and
mild arthritic change of the Acromioclavicular joint are
January 13, 2015, Nimety met with Dr. Phillips for left
shoulder pain, explaining that he could not complete the
exercises because he did not have the proper exercise
equipment. Dr. Phillips told Nimety that prison security
staff would not approve the equipment and that he could
complete the exercises with a sock and a weighted pile
instead. Dr. Phillips diagnosed Nimety with “chronic
tendonitis / shoulder pain” and ordered a cortisone
injection. Nimety received the injection a week later and
found it to be ineffective. This appointment was Dr.
Phillips' last contact with Nimety.
February 12, 2015, Nimety met with defendant Dr. Edsen about
leg and foot pains. Nimety explained his symptoms, the past
tests and treatments, and his belief that it was a vascular
problem. Dr. Edsen disagreed, thinking it was a
neuropathological problem, and ordered “HIV, Vit B12,
Folate, TSH, [and] EMG/NCS” tests.
March 12, 2015, Nimety met with Dr. Edsen about left shoulder
pain. Nimety explained that the cortisone shot was
ineffective and that he was unable to do the exercises
prescribed by Dr. Phillips without resistance bands and a
five-pound weight bar. Dr. Edsen prescribed 600 milligrams of
ibuprofen, and two new rehabilitatory exercise handouts - one
for an Acromioclavicular joint injury and one for a
“regular” shoulder. Dr. Edsen denied Nimety's
requests for an MRI and for a specialist consultation.
and NCS tests were done on March 24, 2015, and the results
were within normal limits. The HIV, Vit B12, Folate, and TSH
tests were not done.
12, 2015, Nimety met with Dr. Edsen for left shoulder and leg
pains. Nimety told her that 600 milligrams of ibuprofen was
ineffective and that he could not complete the newer
exercises because he still did not have the proper
equipment. Dr. Edsen denied his requests for an MRI,
a specialist consultation, and a bottom bunk assignment, but
Dr. Edsen increased the ibuprofen to 800 milligrams and
approved his request for a second ankle-brachial index test.
This test showed results within normal limits. This
appointment was Dr. Edsen's last contact with Nimety.
September 15, 2015, Nimety met with Dr. Lard for shoulder,
leg, and foot pains. Nimety explained the prior tests and
treatments and his symptoms. Dr. Lard prescribed 500
milligrams of Naproxen and gave Nimety the same handout for
rehabilitatory exercises he allegedly could not do because he
did not have the proper equipment. Dr. Lard denied
Nimety's requests for an MRI, a specialist consultation,
and a bottom bunk assignment. Nimety alleges that Dr. Lard
refused to address the leg pain. This appointment was Dr.
Lard's first and last contact with Nimety.
January 28, 2016, Nimety met with Dr. Osemobor about injuries
to his right shoulder and neck. Nimety explained that he had
fallen while climbing a bunk five days earlier. Dr. Osemobor
ordered X-rays, did not order medication, and denied
Nimety's request for a bottom bunk assignment. Nimety
does not describe any further involvement by Dr.
December 8, 2013, Nimety met with a mental health staffer
about anxiety caused by his leg, foot, and shoulder pains.
The staffer gave Nimety a ...